Thistle to expand outside UK

21 Jan 2009 by Sara Turner

British brand Thistle is set to expand beyond UK shores, with three new properties in Malaysia and China.

The hotel chain, owned by Malaysia-based company Hong Leong Group, is set for a two-year expansion, while the 33 properties in the UK undergo refurbishment (see online news January 26, 2008).

Chief operating officer, Heiko Figge said: “The UK market remains our primary focus. However, this exciting advancement overseas is a great opportunity. Asia has proven to be a strong leader in growth, with its business travel and domestic-tourism markets soaring.”

The two properties in Malaysia are existing hotels, which will be rebranded and refurbished before relaunching under the Thistle brand. The new property in Shanghai will be purpose-built for the hotel group.

The hotel in Port Dickson Resort, 90km south of Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur, will be the first to open on June 1, with 250 bedrooms, three restaurants and two bars. It is situated on 90 acres of green land with a nine-hole golf course, two tennis courts, and an outdoor swimming pool.

The second new Thistle property is due to open in July in Johor Bahru in southern Malaysia, and will offer 381 bedrooms, including 125 luxury rooms, plus two restaurants, two bars, a large events space with a capacity of 650 people, and an outdoor swimming pool.

The Shanghai property, due to be completed in March 2010.  This hotel will have 300 bedrooms over 26 floors, three restaurants, two bars, extensive banqueting space and an indoor swimming pool.

Go to for more information.

Report by Sara Turner

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